Title

Some Effects of Overall Rate of Earning Reinforcers on Run Lengths and Visit Durations

Comments

APA Citation: MacDonall, J.S. (2006). Some effects of overall rate of earning reinforcers on run lengths and visit durations. Behavioral Processes 73(1), 13-21.

Disciplines

Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences

Abstract

In a concurrent schedule, responding at each alternative is controlled by a pair of schedules that arrange reinforcers for staying at that alternative and reinforcers for switching to the other alternative. Each pair of schedules operates only while at the associated alternative. When only one pair of stay and switch schedules is presented, the rates of earning reinforcers for staying divided by the rates of earning reinforcers for switching controls the mean number responses in a visit and the mean duration of visits. The purpose of the present experiment was to see whether the sum of the rates of earning stay and switch reinforcers changed the way that run length and visit duration were affected by the ratio of the rates of stay to switch reinforcers. Rats were exposed to pairs of stay and switch schedules that varied both the ratio of the rates of earning stay and switch reinforcers and the sum of the rates of earning stay and switch reinforcers. Run lengths and visit durations were joint functions of the ratio of the rates of earning stay and switch reinforcers and the sum of the rates of earning stay and switch reinforcers. These results shows that the effect of the ratio of the sum of the rates of earning stay and switch reinforcers results from processes operating at the alternative, rather than from processes operating at both alternatives.